By Mandy McAnally, PSI
Tucked back on a dirt road outside of Mombasa, Kenya, is an unassuming clinic with an orange and purple gate. About 15 people – mostly women and children – wait patiently inside. It is hot but the covered patio provides a bit of relief from the sun.
Sit for a few minutes and you will be greeted by Pamela Odiero Makokha – co-owner of Meditrust Healthcare Services clinic – with a wide smile and outstretched arms. Pamela and her husband opened the clinic when they moved to the area in 1994. They saw that the government facilities were overstretched and they wanted to help.
“We have a really good relationship with our clients, it’s actually almost a personal relationship, especially with those who keep coming back,” says Pamela. “Every time somebody walks in you can tell they’re at home because we’ve been here for a long time, and we take good care of them, I believe.”
A few years ago, Meditrust Healthcare Services joined PSI’s Tunza Family Health Network of clinics.
Tunza is a franchise, much like a UPS store. Stores are owned and operated by individuals, but when you mail a package through UPS – wherever you might be in the country – you get reliable service and consistent pricing. Tunza clinics across Kenya operate the same way for families. Clinics are owned by medical providers and entrepreneurs like Pamela and her husband. When clients visit a Tunza clinic, they know they will receive affordable, high-quality health products and services.
As part of the Tunza network, Pamela and her husband receive on-going training, business support, outreach, supplies and equipment. “Once we have a training with Tunza, Robert and Ndaboki [PS/Kenya’s regional quality assurance managers] do a follow up,” says Pamela. “They come to check with us to make sure we are actually implementing what they taught us.”
Their hours are still long, but Pamela and her husband are making a much greater impact on their community: “It’s gratifying to see someone walking in very sick, very sick – maybe they don’t have money – but you take care of them and they walk out of the clinic smiling. That keeps me going.”